Canadians expect to live in a society where the criminal justice system is fair and impartial, responds to the harms caused by crime and helps to keep them safe. An effective justice system encourages meaningful engagement and accountability, and provides an opportunity for healing, reparation and reintegration.
In recognition of Restorative Justice Week (November 15-22), Wednesday, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the Government of Canada’s continued support to restorative justice initiatives across the country. In Quebec, these initiatives also receive a significant and growing support from the Government of Quebec. Today, William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science), on behalf of Minister Lametti, as well as Mr. Mathieu Lévesque, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Justice of Québec, on behalf of the latter, want to highlight the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg restorative justice program.
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Restorative Justice Circle is one of the organizations present in Quebec that receive government funding aimed to support restorative justice initiatives. The Department of Justice Canada has committed to providing $105,000 over three years, from 2019 to 2022, to the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Restorative Justice Circle under Justice Canada’s Indigenous Justice Program. The Ministère de la Justice du Québec, who is also providing funding to Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, has already committed to providing 70 000$ over the first two years, but that commitment could reach 105 000$ over three years (from 2019 to 2022).
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and its Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Restorative Justice Circle strives to bring back the traditional teachings of the Algonquin people which have been lost through the impact of colonialism, loss of lands, loss of the Algonquin language, culture and teachings. This program is a place of reconciliation and healing for victims, the offenders, their families, and the community with particular emphasis on first time youth “offenders” to prevent recidivism.
“Our justice system must be sensitive to the needs and traditions of Indigenous communities. Restorative justice initiatives help hold offenders accountable, promotes safer communities, improves outcomes for victims and provides opportunities for healing, repairing harm, and reintegration. I am pleased the Government of Canada is supporting the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg for their initiative related to restorative justice.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science)
“The Ministère de la Justice du Québec is pleased to continue contributing to the restorative justice initiative that is the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Justice Committee. We applaud the outstanding success of this community justice program, which is among the first restorative justice initiatives to emerge in the Algonquin Nation. We have no doubt that this well-established organization will pave the way for other similar projects in Algonquin communities.”
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Justice of Québec
“The Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Restorative Justice Program has been in operation for three years now and is functioning well in coordination with the Quebec Court system and all of our partners to serve clients of the program.”
Tina Dewache, Restorative Justice Coordinator
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg
Restorative justice aims to engage families and communities to participate in the healing, reparation and reintegration of youth and adults involved in the criminal justice system.
Restorative justice is based on encouraging accountability of those involved and helps to support better outcomes for victims.